California declares Ham Radio no longer a benefit......

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JPSan

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I'll let K6UDA explain it all.....This shows just how ridiculous living in California gets daily......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv2sb4LJq2g

Hope the amateur community really steps forward and sensibly explain the huge errors in reasoning.
 

chuck_e7

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I am so glad to be gone from the land of fruits and nuts! I left a lot of good friends in the LA basin, but I had to go!! They've got some strange rules here in GA., but at least they try to take care of Vets. As far as Ham radio out here, there's a lot of groups basically doing nothing when a disaster like a hurricane or flooding occurs. I hear a few nets that check in, but no one is really moving around doing what needs to be done. The Cali Hams at least get out and do things. But I digress, I pray for all the Hams in that state and maybe one day someone will pull real hard and hear a loud "pop" when they pull their heads out! 73
 

ke6gcv

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I read the document and listened to the video in its entirety. I understand what Zeliff is saying in his letter, but I think he may be reading more into it than what is being explained. I also think that the email sent by CAL FIRE seems to be a bit vague in their explanation.

Is this letter that was sent a statewide thing where ALL repeater owners/trustees have to pay CAL FIRE rent? I don't know. But in reading how the letter was written, it certainly does suggest that. But, does CAL FIRE/the State own any repeater sites? Or are they privately owned by companies like American Tower, Global Tower, Crown Castle, etc.?

If CAL FIRE/the State own radio sites, then I can understand the email. They're nickel and diming the owners/trustees because they want the money. But if the sites are privately owned by the aforementioned tower companies, then why the letter? Why is CAL FIRE/the State wanting to charge rent if the site is privately owned?

I recall in the past that tower companies would give repeater space to owners/trustees for little to no charge in exchange for grounds maintenance; such as defensible space around the vaults and towers as well as the the site itself. I don't know that to be true today, but that is how I remember it.

I think repeater owners/trustees who may have received the email need to contact CAL FIRE and get more information. At the same time, those very same owners/trustees need to contact the tower companies and ask questions. Who owns what? Maybe a mutual agreement can be met.

But again... That is just my thoughts and opinions. Your mileage may vary.
 

wa8pyr

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I read the document and listened to the video in its entirety. I understand what Zeliff is saying in his letter, but I think he may be reading more into it than what is being explained. I also think that the email sent by CAL FIRE seems to be a bit vague in their explanation.

Is this letter that was sent a statewide thing where ALL repeater owners/trustees have to pay CAL FIRE rent? I don't know. But in reading how the letter was written, it certainly does suggest that. But, does CAL FIRE/the State own any repeater sites? Or are they privately owned by companies like American Tower, Global Tower, Crown Castle, etc.?

If CAL FIRE/the State own radio sites, then I can understand the email. They're nickel and diming the owners/trustees because they want the money. But if the sites are privately owned by the aforementioned tower companies, then why the letter? Why is CAL FIRE/the State wanting to charge rent if the site is privately owned?
Have to agree. Does this refer only to sites owned by the People's Republik of Kalifornia? With most tower sites being private property, legally I would think they cannot levy such a thing on sites owned by others.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'll have to check back, but I can think of at least a couple of instances in the past where a governmental entity gave amateur radio the heave-ho, only to come begging on bended knee when their muti-million dollar communications system took a dump. Never refuse a versatile, reliable asset; you never know when you might need it.
 

mike619

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Removing the HAM repeaters is a threat to public safety because those who don't use HAM and listen to it should bad earthquakes or other disaster happen will not get safety information so it is a dumb move and that official in CAL FIRE that want's to do that should be fired this is just my opinion.
 

ko6jw_2

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Here in Santa Barbara County we do not have fire protection from CalFire. We are one of a handful of counties that maintains its own fire department. I would venture to say that virtually none of the mountain top repeater sites in Southern California is controlled by CalFire, but, rather, by the USFS. They do charge rent to commercial users and these users pass that on to their tenants including hams. So far costs have been moderate.

That said, my recent dealings with the USFS required a new permit for one site (no cost or rent) and a two hour call and a letter to remind them of the service that amateur radio can provide not only to them, but also to the community.

A few years back the Nature Conservancy which controls Santa Cruz Island announced that all repeaters were to be removed. This affected the sheriff, fire, ems and USFS plus ham radio. Needless to say this didn't please anyone and in due course they sat down and shut up.

Organized public pressure can be very effective in these cases.

By the way, California is the sixth largest economy in the world and we have a net outflow of federal tax dollars. That means we help support other states that have a negative tax flow. Alaska is a good example.
 

vagrant

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Living in a remote area with others, amongst other things I would:
1. Host my own amateur and GMRS repeaters
2. Create a pamphlet and website providing step by step instructions on how to obtain a GMRS license and the local frequency
3. Send the pamphlet via post to neighbors, unless another method of communication is already established
4. Advise that they can monitor (wink-wink) the GMRS frequency without a license for safety information

A low tech addition could be to use an electronic or hand crank siren. Perhaps several residents could have one. The legality of using a siren may different from place to place.

There are other ways to alert people of course and none of these involve the state or local government. Would it be nice to have access to a ridge top facility with an existing tower, sure. Still, I'm not going to get all butthurt if they took it away because I would have already done #1-4 anyways. Redundancy is nice and I would pay for the entire thing so I do not have to consider anyone's thoughts on the matter. Whether my neighbors use it or not is up to them.
 

norcalscan

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I've watched this unfold since that one single email got sent, and it's been overblown into one massive sh!#show that completely over-exaggerates what the initial intent of the email/letter was to the CalFire ECC Battalion Chief, and the trustee of the ham repeater in a particular single vault.

Seriously, we have lost our damn minds people. Reading Comprehension 101. We are all on edge, just waiting to be triggered by the right word or phrase and then we start making loud noises, banging pots and pans, and we don't ever stop to ask, "wait, why are we making the loud noises again?" It's a direct correlation to the political partisanship we all are really enjoying over the last decade or more. The self-entitlement is astronomical.

Good god if this is the worse case scenario and a bureaucracy dept somewhere deep in Sac decided to audit their vaults, then let's keep our damn heads low :censored: and hopefully survive another year or so with the natural speed of bureaucracy. But no, hams do what they do best, self-destruct at the loudest self-entitled volume, something about emcomm, and now every middle manager in the state is going to poke around and ask "hey do we have one of those hams in our thingy up on the mountain?"
 

vagrant

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The state giveth, the state taketh away amateur repeater co-located sites long before this kerfuffle. Rent commercial space or just put it up on your own property. If the state told me I had to remove the amateur gear from their facility, I would tell them thank you for previously hosting us and remove the gear.
 

prcguy

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In my area there is a very well known and large multi site linked repeater system that is notorious for shoe horning their equipment into places it doesn't belong, or giving false information in order to install their non public service related amateur repeaters in public service sites for free. Repeater groups like that give the community a bad name and piss off our public service hosts.
 

Kingscup

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Here in Santa Barbara County we do not have fire protection from CalFire. We are one of a handful of counties that maintains its own fire department. I would venture to say that virtually none of the mountain top repeater sites in Southern California is controlled by CalFire, but, rather, by the USFS. They do charge rent to commercial users and these users pass that on to their tenants including hams. So far costs have been moderate.
Not to nitpick but I am going to do that. While Santa Barbara county provides its own fire protection, Santa Barbara county is a contract county for CAL FIRE. This means that CAL FIRE pays Santa Barbara county to provide fire protection for state responsibility area lands instead of CAL FIRE providing direct protection of those lands. This is also the case for Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and Marin counties. I don't know where the money goes to within San Barbara county but I would suspect their dozer, hand crew and air program is supported with at least some of the money. If a vegetation fire becomes larger than the capacity of Santa Barbara county, CAL FIRE will come in with an incident command team and go into unified command etc...

Because of all this, CAL FIRE has 4 mountain top repeaters within Santa Barbara county. I don't know who owns the land but CAL FIRE does have repeaters within the county.
 
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From Marcel Stieber on facebook Caution is advised with this video and reacting too strongly. Per a recent email thread from www.NARCC.org this is only impacting one specific radio site and is not known to be impacting others. If taking any action, be sure to have the right facts and understand the existing agreements of other sites and the specific background on this site's issue to avoid further scrutiny of other sites that could hurt more than help.

The lawyer's letter made it seem California wide. I only forwarded it to my SEC, I didn't notify my ECs. Don't want panic within the ranks. I'll forward this new information.
 

ko6jw_2

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Not to nitpick but I am going to do that. While Santa Barbara county provides its own fire protection, Santa Barbara county is a contract county for CAL FIRE. This means that CAL FIRE pays Santa Barbara county to provide fire protection for state responsibility area lands instead of CAL FIRE providing direct protection of those lands. This is also the case for Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and Marin counties. I don't know where the money goes to within San Barbara county but I would suspect their dozer, hand crew and air program is supported with at least some of the money. If a vegetation fire becomes larger than the capacity of Santa Barbara county, CAL FIRE will come in with an incident command team and go into unified command etc...

Because of all this, CAL FIRE has 4 mountain top repeaters within Santa Barbara county. I don't know who owns the land but CAL FIRE does have repeaters within the county.
I am well aware of this and it didn't seem totally relevant. I never said that CalFire did not have repeaters in SB County. The ones that I'm aware of are on USFS mountain tops. Santa Ynez Peak for example. They get very little use even in major fires where most of the traffic is on tactical channels. I know how responses to the SRA work. I used to be a member of the county fire department. As for the money flow, it was always a source of contention and probably still is. By the way, Santa Barbara County has Vandenberg Air Force Base and there are plenty of fires out there. They have their own fire department, but the county provides mutual aid. The same is true with the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary.
 

ke6gcv

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In case you're interested, Ham Radio Now, episode 414: This Is No Such Thing As Free Rack Space, was posted last night on YouTube.
I'm still watching/listening to it as it's about 44-minutes long. So... I currently can't comment on it.
 

w4amp

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Unfortuneately, this sitiuation is playing out all over the country. Just move the repeater. When the SHTF and they come back begging for help, remind them of the move.
 
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